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Diversity needs to be honored, acknowledged and celebrated
The world is beautiful because it is diverse and diversity is the beauty of this creation. There is not one type of fish, there is not one type of potato. You know, in Peru, there are three thousand varieties of potatoes! Three thousand type of potato in Peru alone. And in Colombia, I say it is the most bio-diverse country on the planet. So many types of trees, birds are there. We have seven hundred types of rice alone in our country and so many types of wheat. In this ashram, we have eighty types of butterflies.
Whether it is religion or it is food, any species of fish or cows, we have to protect the diversity. Because diversity is the basis of existence. In the Vedas, it is said that the Divine says ‘I am one, but I become many.’ Why? In ‘many’ there is bliss. To express the bliss that I am, I became many. So the diversity is to be celebrated. I think tolerance is a very negative word. You tolerate something which you don’t like. But when you love diversity, it is no longer tolerance, it is a celebration of diversity.
When Devi Puja is done in the Vaidic time, in Vaidic ritual, they say ‘O, Mother Divine, you present yourself in such diverse way. Mother, you are in so many different forms.’ (When things are not of your own form, your own type, you always have a fear about it. Someone who is not like you, someone who doesn’t belong to you, you have some fear about them). Mother Divine remove this fear from my mind and let me recognize you in all the diverse creation. This is the prayer. And it is said, ‘Mother, you have manifested yourself in such diversity, in such variety, how I can sing thy glory!’
One who recognizes this diverse nature of the Shakti, of the consciousness, is the real King. You yourself bestow the Kingship in the person. You (Mother Divine) offer various and different kind of wealth. This planet contains so many minerals, so many types of precious stones, this is all part of this diversity and it is the Mother Divine’s manifestation in this diverse universe, and in abundance. Diversity needs to be honoured, acknowledged and celebrated.
Even in sesame, there are many different types of sesame, many different types of grains, not one. So diversity is what is being praised here. And this has been the lifeline of ancient Vaidic Civilisation.